Interior design – what’s it all about?
What is interior design?
Interior design is another term for interior environment, or what we surround ourselves with when we are at home, at work – or anywhere inside a building for that matter.
Interior design is something that we live and breathe everyday of our lives – huge stores like Myer, David Jones, Saks, Marks and Spencer, all spend a lot of money working out how to make people feel comfortable (and of course feeling happy enough to shop in their stores!). Retailers like Ikea and Pillow talk make it a mission in their advertising campaigns to help people feel at ease so they relate to their merchandise and therefore want to buy their products to enhance their own homes.
But we don’t live in stores. We don’t have neat lives that look like vignettes in stores like Myer and Ikea. We want to feel at ease and comfortable in our own homes.
So it comes down to this question:-
What makes you feel comfortable and happy at home?
The answer usually stems from three basic principles,
• Scale and proportion
• Practicality and comfort
• Lighting and ventilation
This is where you need help, hopefully from a qualified, experienced and empathetic interior designer, who can relate to your lifestyle, your family set-up and your daily habits. Sounds frightening, but what you eat, what you wear, how you live, all tell a story so the best outcome for your perfect interior environment can be achieved.
Why is this important?
If you are not completely comfortable in your own home, be it in your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom (usually the main areas of concern), then you will not be living your life to its optimum level and you will not realize the joy and ease that can be achieved by having a relaxed living environment. This exact statement can be reiterated when discussing your work environment. So let’s go back to the three usual factors affecting our response to our interior environment:
Scale and proportion
Picture walking into a huge auditorium and there is a small chair in the middle of the room. The host asks you to make yourself at home. What do you do with a tiny chair in such a huge space? You feel uncomfortable even though you have been welcomed by the hosts. Another scenario – welcomed by the same hosts into a tiny room with a massive television on the wall, large, overstuffed three piece lounge suite and coffee table, almost butting up to the tele. Make yourself at home – you immediately might start to feel fat! It is the Gulliver’s syndrome or Alice in Wonderland feeling – you don’t belong and you certainly don’t feel comfortable. Scale and proportion of furnishings have an immediate impact on our well-being.
Practicality and comfort
There is a myriad of furnishing styles out there, but they must feel good for YOU, not just look good. An example of practicality versus looks could be the bench seat up against an outdoor table – looks great in the brochure or on the showroom floor, but try getting off that bench seat if you are stuck between two other people – not a pretty sight.
Lighting and ventilation
A room can literally be transformed into another atmosphere immediately with clever lighting. Don’t ignore this vital part of comfort and style in your own home – and for that matter in your work environment. Without adequate air-flow, with natural ventilation, any room will suffer and will be uncomfortable.
These three elements are all major considerations and in future articles each will be discussed in greater detail – they make a big difference in making sure you are comfortable in your home or office.